Post Traumatic Love Syndrome

 

Hey everyone!!! Can we just take a moment to celebrate that I’m being somewhat consistent with blogging again? Lol. Anywho, this topic has been on my heart for some time. Probably for almost a year. I think we all can agree that love can be a beautiful thing. The idea of having someone to love you unconditionally seems like a dream for most. The sad truth remains that the idea of love is not exciting for everyone. I wrote on this once, check it out HERE.

While some are excitedly dating and enjoying the anticipation of love, others are scared to death due to their previous experiences with the concept. There are people are petrified at the thought of trying to love again. For some people, getting to know someone almost feels traumatic. It triggers off feelings of being hurt and unsafe. This sounds eerily similar to a well-known yet misunderstood mental health diagnosis called Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

When someone has Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), they have a combination of symptoms that were triggered by a traumatic experience. These experiences can be but are not limited to war, car accidents, natural disasters, sexual assault, the sudden death of a loved one, etc. After working with many clients, talking with friends and looking at my own love life, I am realizing there may be an event we have left off the list. That event is heartbreak. If you’ve ever been heartbroken, I mean hurt to your soul heartbroken, then you know how traumatic that feels. It is something you hate to even remember. I describe it to clients as the kind of pain that you feel in your mind, body, spirit, and soul simultaneously.  It’s something that once you experience it, you never want to experience it again.

With that said, we can see how this starts to look similar to PTSD. There’s a traumatic event that then triggers off a series of symptoms. The symptoms often associated with PTSD are re-experiencing of the trauma, nightmares, avoiding thoughts or feelings about the trauma, hypervigilance, anger outbursts, etc. When I really started looking at the symptomology, I came to the startling realization that heartbreak was traumatizing people. Not in some overdramatic way, but truly to the point their lives are being disrupted. Their trust for love is buried under the fear from the trauma of heartbreak.

Think about it. We know people who are easily triggered by the thought of heartbreak. Let me make a point to highlight that I said heartbreak, not love. It is not love that scares people, it is heartbreak. The fear is in the failure of love, not the presence of it. The truth is, they want love, but they fear they will not be able to keep it.

Many people think that people fear they will never get someone. I disagree. I think many people know they have the capability to get someone. I think most people fear they will get love and mess it up. Which in turn creates heartbreak, which creates trauma. One of the symptoms of PTSD is distorted feelings of blame and guilt. How many people have blamed themselves for the heartbreak they endured? Since they carry that blame, they also carry the fear that they will bring the heartbreak on themselves again.

Another symptom of PTSD is avoiding thoughts or feelings about the trauma. How many people have we seen avoid thinking about their time of heartache like it was the plague? They don’t do it in an “I have healed and closed that chapter,” kind of way. They do it in an “I cannot mentally handle assessing those feelings,” kind of way. Feeling tense and on edge is another symptom. We see people who have been heartbroken like this all the time. They can barely enjoy a conversation with someone because they are so on edge. You constantly have to tell them, “just relax and enjoy getting to know them.” But that’s easier said than done for them. They become hypervigilant; constantly looking for a reason to be on the defense and jump ship for safety and security.

Why am I writing about this? Because I want us to be more patient with these people. We often get frustrated with people because they seem so guarded. They self-sabotage and they get in their own way. Yes, it is frustrating when you are the one on the other end who they keep pushing away. It’s frustrating when they seem to get cold for no reason. It’s annoying when they shut down out of nowhere. The truth is, there are people who have been hurt to a point of crippling fear. They want to get out of their head, but their fear keeps them locked inside of the mental prison created from their trauma. People like this need as much love, patience, and support as possible.

Now, let me come to the other end of this. Dear people suffering from Post Traumatic Love Syndrome, you DO NOT get to use your trauma as a get out of commitment-free card. *taps mic* Can you hear me? I hope you didn’t think I was just going to let you slip by because you’re hurting. Look, I get it. You have been hurt so bad that it shook you to your core. You vowed that you would never let yourself feel that low again. Good!!! But that should not be at the expense of the people who are trying to love you. At some point, you have to work through your trauma. Get in counseling, journal, pray, fast, process, HEAL. You can work through this trauma. You can get what you want which is love without experiencing what you fear which is heartache. You can’t though if you continue to look at love through the eyes of your past pain.

I just wanted to shed more light on this situation. I know there are frustrated people on both sides. People are tired of being bound by their previous heartache. People are also tired of having to pay for the trauma inflicted by someone else. I think the key is to be patient with others and be patient with ourselves. We have to be willing to acknowledge that this form of trauma exists and be patient as we all try to maneuver through it. I just want us all to get the love we desire. The key to that is healing and patience. I hope this helps. Happy healing!!!

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“We Need to Talk”

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photo courtesy of https://www.pulselive.co.ke

The phrase “we need to talk” is one of the most nerve-wracking phrases to hear, especially while dating or in a relationship. It’s the phrase that will have you thinking all day about every possible scenario under the sun. After years of conditioning, we’ve turned “needing to talk” into a thing of dread.

While this phrase can cause a lot of worry, I want to shift the connotation connected to these words. I know this may be hard to believe, but “needing to talk” is probably the most important thing you can do, and the earlier the better. I’m sure these triggering words are making it difficult to follow how I could possibly come to such a conclusion.

One of the biggest mistakes I have seen my clients, friends and even myself make when starting off in the earlier parts of dating, is that we are not having the necessary “talks.” We continuously say that “communication is key,” yet keep avoiding communication altogether. We’re not talking. We’re dancing around and avoiding at all costs to keep things light. If we are talking, we’re keeping it trivial. We’re asking for favorite colors and sports teams, meanwhile, the deal-breaking information has been sidestepped.

Don’t get me wrong, this is fun information to ask and it does help to get to know more about this person. It creates conversation which is a good thing. I’m just trying to challenge us to get the hard, important stuff out the way early. In essence, I’m saying, “we need to talk.” For instance, when I was taking time from love, see my previous post here for the details of that, I would say pretty early that I was not interested in dating. I would ask guys if they were and let them quickly know that I wasn’t. One guy told me “this is a little early to have this conversation,” while another said, “I didn’t think we were at the place of having this discussion.” I was so baffled. If you are interested in trying to date someone, wouldn’t you want to know as soon as possible if they aren’t interested in the same?

I soon realized how many people, including myself, had fallen for this backward way of thinking. We want to get to know a person first to see if we’ll like them and then ask the tough questions later. I can hear some of y’all now. “Why have such deep and real conversations with someone who you don’t know you’ll like or if they’ll be around much longer?” I’m glad you asked. The flaw in this thinking is a few things. One, what happens if you start liking this person. You realize you two are vibing and they seem great thus far. So you decide to start asking the real questions, the things that could make or break it for you, and then BOOM. They tell you they don’t want kids, or that they have five. They tell you they aren’t interested in a committed relationship or that they don’t believe in monogamy. Maybe you’re religious and they don’t believe like you believe. Regardless of what your deal breakers are, this person, whom you have grown to like, has just revealed your deal breaker to you. Now you feel devastated, frustrated, annoyed, hurt, sad, angry, or whatever else comes to mind. You wish so desperately that their answer was different, but it remains the same.

Some may say this sounds extreme, but the truth is, this happens every day. I know couples who avoided vital conversations. Now that those things have come out, the information is tearing their relationships apart. Why? Because the information is such that if they had known before, they wouldn’t have gotten with them. Since they didn’t have the conversations sooner, they’re struggling to walk away from someone they care about. The sooner you have these discussions, the sooner you know what you are dealing with. Think about it, if you have the tough conversations early, you won’t be nearly as hurt, or hurt at all, if that person has some deal breakers.

Truthfully, we tend to struggle to feel comfortable while getting to know someone when we know we’re not asking the real questions we want to know the answers to. We fear looking like we’re “doing too much” so we sit, silently wondering if the “right time” will present itself to bring it up. Or we do even worse and hope they bring it up so we don’t have to. Listen, whatever information you need in order to make an informed decision about this person, get it!!! Why guess and worry if they are going to sadly disappoint you later when you can just ask now? Plus, you may be pleasantly surprised.

Let me make a disclaimer. I’m not telling you to ask questions that they may not know the answer to like “can you see us together” and y’all only been talking for two weeks. The discussions I’m referring to are ones that help both of you make informed decisions about whether you should continue getting to know each other. These are discussions that can stop you both from wasting time with as minimal emotional pain as possible. It also keeps you from settling in areas you know you emotionally can’t handle because you were in too deep before finding out.

Look, I know having serious conversations can be awkward and daunting. This is exactly why it’s better to have them with someone you’re not emotionally attached to yet. Get the tough stuff out of the way. This way, you can better enjoy getting to know them, knowing they’ve already met some of your toughest criteria. So stop fearing and guessing and get the answers in the most effective way. Just ask!!! Better now than later. Happy talking😊

Taking a Break From Love

I almost don’t know where to begin. See what had happened was…Lol. But seriously, jokes aside I offer my deepest apologies for my extended absence from the blog. While there are not many excuses I can offer, I assure you that the insight I gained in my time away, which I’ll share in this post, will more than makeup for it. Or at least I hope it will.

I’ll just cut straight to the chase. I had to take a break from love. I’m sure you’re thinking, “what does that even mean?” “How does that even work?” Well, I can assure you, it wasn’t a pleasant journey, at least not at first. I had gotten to such a low point in love. I was for the first time, disgusted and disgruntled with love. I wanted no parts of it. I stopped believing in the possibility of it. After coming up empty handed on my constant quest for love, I was officially over trying to find it. Naturally, I no longer had the desire to write on the topic. For those who don’t know, I am a therapist, who happens to specialize in, you guessed it, couple’s work. Day in and day out, I help couples through some of the toughest times of their relationships, while teaching them skills to better themselves and their partnerships. Literally, my entire world revolved around love. I believe God felt sorry for me because during this time my couple’s clientele dwindled and I received a ton of individuals. I guess God knew as well as I did that I wasn’t in the space to help them.

After taking a year from the blog and six months to myself, I have deemed it almost necessary to write again. I struggled with what would be my comeback post. Instantly, almost obviously, the thought hit me. Why not just start by talking about what drove me into silence in the first place? If I had experienced this, surely others have as well.

We all know that romance has been a goal to achieve for decades. Self-help books are flying off the shelves right now as everyone is in a mad dash to find the answer to obtaining true love. We read about it, watch it in movies and television shows, and have discussions about it with friends and loved ones. There are blogs and YouTube channels dedicated to it. Love is always a hot topic that is difficult to escape from. For a hopeless romantic like myself, the constant talk of love is intoxicating. But what happens when the high wears off and the drug of choice no longer does it for you? What happens when the thing you always believed in doesn’t seem to be manifesting like you always dreamed it would?

I have talked to so many people, whether it be followers, friends, family, or clients and they all have seemed to experience this same feeling. The feeling of hopeless despair. The feeling that maybe the love you hope for, isn’t meant for you. Maybe the phrase “there’s somebody for everybody” is just an empty group of words. This is a dark and sad revelation to come to after waiting for love for so long. It feels like the child waiting for the distant father to come to pick them up as promised, finally accepting the truth that daddy isn’t coming. For many, daddy is the love they always longed for but could never get to show up.

I promise I’m not writing this to sound dark and bleak. I’m writing this to do the opposite. I’m writing this to bring light to what feels like a dark space that the hope of love once filled. After much needed time, I realized that the answer should not be to give up on love but to recondition our minds as to what we thought it meant. I realized that many of us condition ourselves to believe that the sad, heartbreaking situations we experienced were synonymous with the love we sought. So we concluded that searching for love brought pain. This isn’t necessarily wrong, but it’s not in totality the truth. The desire for love is not the problem, it was the methods in which we chose to obtain it that brought issues.

So how does one recondition themselves? Through taking time from love. Yes, this is the entire point of this post. Sometimes, you need to take a break from what you want. Sometimes you need to regroup. Many people who are frustrated with their quest for love have done everything they think is possible to get it. They go out of their way to fix themselves so that their chances of a mate will be better. The issue is, if the goal for what you do is just so you can get a mate, you’re setting yourself up for disappointment. Taking time from love isn’t about fixing yourself, it’s about fixing your mindset.

The goal is not to change yourself, it’s to accept yourself. I finally realized that me trying to “perfect” or “fix” myself was to try to make me more loveable to the ones who saw something wrong with me and didn’t love the core of who I was. It showed that I had fallen for the lie that I was hard to love. The truth is, you won’t be hard to love for the person who accepts you for who you are. Yes, you will forever be a proponent of working on yourself and bettering yourself. I am not trying to give people an excuse to continue being messed up. What I am saying, is that your motivation of why and the goal of what you are trying to accomplish makes the difference. Are you trying to be better or are you trying to fix the essence of you that you convinced yourself is wrong so you can get someone to love you?

This is why self-love is so important. You really have to love yourself in a way that is accepting of your good and bad. It is easy to excuse people for not loving you wholeheartedly when you agree that there are parts of you not to love. When you don’t love all of you, you relate to when others don’t. If you want someone to love you for the core of your essence, you should first do the same. When you love every part of yourself, you can challenge others to do the equivalent.

It is difficult to do this without taking a break. I never would have been able to come to some ugly truths had I not taken a break from love. I hadn’t realized just how much I had been negatively impacted by the internal messages that were being implanted by every failed attempt of my endeavors. I had not realized that my quest was starting to accumulate some heavy baggage. I’m here to encourage you to take some time and unpack some. You may have been journeying a long time trying to find love. With every failed trip you simply add more stuff to your luggage and went out on the next voyage.

Maybe it’s time to take a break from your quest. Maybe, just maybe, you need a break. It doesn’t mean you are giving up, but sometimes it is good to check your map to see if you’re still going in the right direction. Patiently waiting for love can weigh so heavy on the heart. Getting your hopes up repeatedly can be daunting and can create nasty narratives in your mind. I don’t suggest you allow yourself to get as bitter as I did. That’s what I’m trying to prevent. I’m trying to catch you before you reach emotional fatigue. I’m also here to let you know that there is nothing wrong with wanting to take a break. It’s not that you’re giving up, rather than giving your heart some much-needed maintenance. So, before you decide to take another trip towards love, consider if you may need some time to rest before the next journey. Safe travels😊

Does Getting Closure Really Help?

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Courtesy of shutterstock.com

First off, let me apologize for the wait. Life is real, LOL, but I’m back nonetheless. I just thank you all for your patience. Now, to the point of this post. For years I have heard people say phrases such as, “if I can just get closure,” or “if we can just talk one last time then I’ll be ok.” I think many people believe closure is the magic answer to healing. I believed in this notion for years. Over time though, I realized this idea of closure may not be the answer to getting the healing one desires.

One of the things that people misunderstand about closure, is that it comes with answers. We then believe those answers are going to help us move on from the situation. We typically envision this movie like scenario in our heads. We meet up with the person and we have this amazing conversation. We ask every question that has crossed our minds since our last encounter. They answer every question with complete honesty (and to your liking), then you walk away feeling great because now you know “the truth.”

The truth is, sometimes, having that conversation will leave you with more questions than answers. Sometimes you leave aggravated and frustrated. Sometimes they say something that gets on your nerves and reminds you why you two didn’t work out. Sometimes you don’t like what they say. In other words, sometimes trying to get closure through them, leaves us more hurt than healed.

Now, if you’re anything like me, I just like to ask the question. I don’t care what the answer is because I already know 9 times out of 10, they don’t have one. But there is something about never getting a chance to ask. The idea of never asking even though you always wanted to know. If that is the case, if you just have to ask the tough questions, you must be willing to receive whatever answer they give. You even have to be willing to accept if they don’t have one. The harsh reality is they may not have a clue why they never committed or why they broke up so abruptly. They can’t give you an answer they don’t have.

Because honestly, you’re not seeking answers you’re seeking healing. You want to stop hurting. You want something to make the pain go away. You want to make sense of what happened. You want understanding. The harsh reality most people must face though, is that those words may never come. Or the opportunity to see them may not happen. Does that mean you just never get to heal? Does that mean you just stay hurt forever?

Let me be clear, I’m not saying having one last conversation isn’t beneficial. Some people can have a conversation and it is extremely healing. They are able to bring clarity to things previously. They talk like mature adults and they both leave with a clear understanding of what happened, what went wrong and apologized for any hurt caused. This does exist. This result though, requires for both parties to be ready to have this conversation and willing to be honest in a respectful way.

The other option people tend to forget, is having a conversation after you both have moved on and healed. I know it seems redundant to some, but sometimes to get the mature conversation I spoke of, you need to have already healed. “Well if I healed already, why do I need to talk to them?” Great question. You may realize you don’t need to. For others, they just want to address any unfinished business that may have come from the situation. Either way, when or why you have the conversation is completely up to you.

What I want you to understand is, closure does not have to come through contact. You never have to say another word to the person to gain the closure you desire. A question I have posed countless times to friends, clients, and myself is, “what if you never get the answer or apology you’re looking for?” I don’t ask this to be negative or spiteful. I’m asking to help them see they are taking a chance on not getting healing. I want them to see healing doesn’t have to come through the person who hurt them in the first place. It’s like asking the person who left the door open on their way out, to come back and close the door after they are long gone. Yes, they left the door open, so it seems only fair for them to close it. If they never come back though, are you just going to keep staring at the open door? Or, do you finally get up and shut the door yourself. Yes, they hurt you, so you want answers. You think it’s the least they can do since they left. If you keep waiting for them to come back to close the door to your broken heart though, you may be waiting forever.

To bring it all full circle, can getting closure help? Absolutely. Closure is freeing!!! Does closure have to happen a particular way? Absolutely not. There are multiple ways to get closure, and some of them don’t have to include the person you are getting closure from. Check out some HERE. If you just want to take your chances and connect to them for the sake of closure, then go for it. Just know that can go multiple ways. I just want you to know that healing does not have to be placed in the hands of the person who hurt you. You can take total control and get the closure you need without the risk of hurting yourself all over again.  Even if that means healing first and talking to them later. So, for anyone seeking closure, you got this!!! Happy healing😊

Stop Selling Yourself Short

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Courtesy of isha.sadhguru.org

As usual, I had a great conversation with one of my friends that resulted in amazing discussion. When I mentioned a blog post, he excitingly expressed the title, “stop selling yourself short.” He then began to talk about how people need to know their worth in order to stop selling themselves short. While I agreed, I expressed I wanted to go deeper. While I believe knowing one’s worth is always important, I think there is more to this.

I think many of us sell ourselves short in dating. I don’t think the issue is knowing your worth, I think it is remembering it. The truth is, many people know they deserve more than they accept. The issue comes when we act in a way that goes against our worth. Deep down in our souls we can feel when we are getting less than we deserve. We know we should speak up for ourselves. Instead we tell our inner self to be quiet because “we’ve waited too long for this.”

I realized for myself and many others that when we meet people we like, we find ourselves going into performance mode. We forget that we do not have to prove ourselves to others. That someone should love us for who we are, not what we do. Yet we forget that and put our value on the shelf for the sake of getting someone to love us.

Stop allowing people to get the best of you without having to work for it. I know it’s hard when you have waited so long to give yourself to someone. When it felt like you were never going to catch the attention of someone you actually like. That is still not a reason for you to start giving all of yourself. It does not matter how thick his beard, how small her waist, how funny his jokes or how stimulating her conversation, you DO NOT start giving so much of yourself until they have proven they are worthy. The problem is we think being worthy is simply being a good person. No, being worthy is showing they actually want your heart and is willing to care for it. They are willing to work for your love and affection. Newsflash: Just because they are a good person does not mean they will be good to you. They have to WANT to give that to you. You sell yourself short every time you start overly supporting, overly complimenting, overly everything. It reeks of desperation and fear.

Every time you perform beyond your role, you start selling yourself short. Now I know there are people right now saying this isn’t true. That they married their significant other because they showed them what they were getting ahead of time. Key words, SIGNIFICANT OTHER!!! You have to get in the relationship first. Folks can’t even get in the relationship and they’re already leaving notes on the mirror in the morning, washing clothes and being number one fans.

You’re sitting at home frustrated because you don’t know where y’all stand. Yet you continue to give it your all in hopes they will see what you’re worth. The truth is, there is a part of you that is afraid that if you tell them what you really want, that you’ll scare them off and they’ll leave. So you keep it to yourself in hopes all that you do for them will be enough to make them see it on their own. Listen, you don’t have to be afraid of expressing what you really want. Plus it helps you to not waste time. So what if they walk away? Who cares?! How many times have you been left hurt because you poured yourself into yet another person and didn’t get it in return. Better the initial sting then the long and painful agony of emptiness.

There is another option though that too many of us forget. What if they will actually meet your demands? What if they are actually willing to love you like you want to be loved? What if she’ll actually speak into you and support your dreams? What if he’ll actually romance you and comfort you when life gets tough? This is the biggest reason why you have to stop selling yourself short. You don’t know what you could get if you would simply ask.

It’s always hilarious to me though how we can stick to our guns when we are dealing with someone we don’t like. “Don’t text me after 10pm, I have respect” or “I don’t appreciate you expecting me to do things for you.” Somehow you get amnesia when someone cute that you like comes around. They text you at 12:21am and before 12:22am you’re responding with a blushing emoji. She doesn’t even ask how your day was, but you break your neck to drop her off the food she asked for. No, you need to keep your standards across the board. Whether he looks like Chadwick Boseman (yes Lord!!!) or Jerome from Martin. Whether she looks like Kelly Rowland or Shanaynay, you have to keep your boundaries the same.

We always tell people to not deal with men who play games. Don’t deal with the woman who can’t appreciate a good man. Selling yourself short is not just about who you choose but how you choose them. I have dealt with some amazing men in my life. How I chose to deal with those amazing men made more of a difference than the men themselves. If you’re not careful, you can sell yourself short by doing so much, you cause a great person to perform at lower levels than they are capable. In a sense, when you sell yourself short, you sell them short too.

As always, I’m just here to encourage. I want you to stop discounting yourself from fear that people won’t be willing to pay the full price. I’m not saying you can be bought, I’m simply saying you can be earned. You don’t have to bend over backwards for every cute woman or man you meet. Do not let whether you like someone be the determining factor of how hard someone has to work for you. You’ll never get what you want if you never act like that’s what you want. Now let’s act accordingly😊

Know Your Role

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courtesy of netflix.com

 

First, let me start off by saying happy new year everyone!!! I’m so excited for what’s to come from this year. So, in my typical late fashion, I recently finished the hit new series, “She’s Gotta Have It.” This is not a review of the show but may have some spoilers so read at your discretion. After watching the show, I thought I would dialogue about themes in it with some of my male friends. One conversation struck me. We were discussing the final episode of the season and the men in the main character, Nola Darling’s life. He reacted how I expected most men to about the episode. He called them “whack,” which initially made me chuckle. When I probed more to get understanding as to why he categorized them as such, one of his explanations was, they were doing too much considering Nola didn’t want more and to “KNOW YOUR ROLE.”

“Know your role,” a phrase that I’ve heard many times in my life, but never stung quite like this. I realized through this exchange this is a problem in dating today. Too many men and women are expected to know their role when the truth is, they’re in roles they don’t want and shouldn’t be in. Too often people sign up to be in situations with people when they know they want more. Then they are considered “whack” for a lack of a better term, when they start to step outside of that role.

For me, the issue is not that people need to know their role, it’s that people need to stop accepting lower roles than what they want. Too many people keep opting to stay in entry level positions when they should be and want to be in management. They know they are management material, but they are so loyal to the company, they take the position and stay. Stop holding onto companies that know you want to move up the ranks and deserve to, but keep you at the lower levels. There are many reasons a company may not promote you, but the key is, you’re not getting promoted. Then you’re considered annoying when you start trying to show up to management meetings and do management work. You are then hit with the phrase, “know your role.”

Let’s be clear, people must be willing to listen when people tell them they aren’t hiring for management. In other words, if they say they don’t want more and that all you will be is fun for them, LISTEN!!! Because if you don’t, you’ll find yourself operating outside of your role and in the role you really wish to have. That’s how you start volunteering for hurt like I talked about in a previous post HERE. Now are there men and women out there who are willing to just be fun for someone and nothing more, absolutely. If there is one ounce of you though that knows you want something more, do not lie or try to convince yourself that anything less will suffice.

To me, those men in Nola’s life aren’t whack, lame, stupid, or anything else I’m sure they’ll be called. They simply are doing too much for someone who is not willing to do the same for them. They allowed their love for her to overshadow their rational thinking, like many people do. They were too busy loving they stopped listening. Had they listened to what her words and actions were saying, they would have been walked away. Maybe we should stop shaming people for it and start encouraging people to wake up and go get the role they want.

So, my advice to you is, don’t know your role, know your worth. Stop playing roles in people’s lives you know you don’t want to play. There are people out there who are willing to give you the role you want. You don’t have to stick around for people, hoping one day your role will change. Don’t get stuck with the Nola Darling’s in life, who need you to simply, “know your role.” Know what role you want and don’t stop until you find the person who wants to give it to you.

The Truth About Moving On

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courtesy of singleblackmale.org

 

Trying to move on from someone is one of the hardest things to do. Even when you know it is best, it doesn’t make the task any easier. Unfortunately, society has given us all these unrealistic expectations and depictions about what that looks like. While it may look and feel different for everyone, here are some things to consider when trying to move on.

You’ll Think About and Miss Them

You must accept it, you’ll think about this person. We too often feel guilty or stupid when they fall on our mind. The truth is, this person was someone you once thought of all the time. When things would happen, you would call them. You shared moments together and ultimately shared life together. That doesn’t disappear overnight. Depending on how long you were connected, it may be harder and take longer to release them. It’s ok for you to miss them even if they hurt you. The truth is you had good times together and those don’t get erased because you didn’t work out. Things will come up that remind you of them. Watching your favorite sports team or passing by that restaurant you always went to or watching the movie you first saw together. You’ll walk pass someone wearing her perfume, or you’ll see someone wearing a similar shirt you bought him. You’re going to think of them!!! The key is not giving in every time you miss them. You don’t have to call or text them every time they cross your mind. You must find balance between accepting you miss them but not using a reason to stay connected. You must have boundaries.

Moving on May Be Temporary

Let me make this clear. This is not an excuse to hold on to an unhealthy expectation of getting back into a toxic relationship. This is for people whose circumstances truly warrant a possibility of a future together. Maybe the timing was off, or one of you weren’t ready for a relationship or maybe the terms of which you got together caused issues. Either way, sometimes moving on doesn’t mean letting them go forever. Sometimes people struggle with letting go because they think it means they will never talk to or see that person ever again. You two may get your circumstances together and potentially make it work one day. You may even be great friends down the line. The key is moving on in the moment. Who knows what the future may bring. As of right now though, moving on is what you know is best, so you focus on that.

It Can Hurt Even If You Weren’t Together

When we think of moving on we normally think of breakups from committed relationships. People sometimes feel embarrassed or unworthy to feel pain when disconnecting from a non-committed relationship. Yes, during your healing process you should evaluate why you allowed yourself to become that entangled emotionally to someone who you weren’t committed to, but it hurts nonetheless. When you spend time with someone, create memories and share intimate moments with them, it hurts to disconnect, whether you were together or not. Truth is sometimes it hurts worse because you probably convinced yourself you would get the commitment and you didn’t.

Moving on Takes Time

I know this seems obvious to some, but with the microwave generation mentality, this concept seems foreign to most. We too often try to rush the process of moving on from someone. We tell people, “you still thinking about her? Just find someone else,” or “he’s not thinking about you so why should you still be moping around.” You cannot rush getting over someone. Yes, there are healthy and unhealthy timelines, but not necessarily right or wrong. Plus, you need to make sure you have truly moved on before dragging someone else into your web of hurt. If you know you are not fully over that person, there is no need to be entertaining or pursuing other people. Fully close the door before opening another.

Being Busy Won’t Make the Pain Go Away

I know there are all these creative suggestions in magazines and blogs on how to move on. They tell you to pick up a hobby or focus on your goals and ambitions. The truth is, no matter how much jogging, writing, working, or volunteering you do, it will not trump the biggest healer which is time. We must be careful not to confuse being busy with healing and moving on. No matter how busy you get, there will come a time in which you have to sit down with yourself. In that moment everything your busy schedule kept you from thinking about will surface. Accept the fact moving on will not happen overnight. Plus, doing things you love should not be about forgetting them, it should be about remembering you.

No, I don’t have any special tips or great ideas on how to get over someone. I just want you to know that some of what you are feeling is expected. It’s easy to look around and feel like you’re doing or feeling something wrong. Truth is many people feel how you do but no one wants to admit it. Plus, healing is different for us all. Your healing and moving on doesn’t have to look like the next person. It may not be easy, and you may want a magic answer to make it all better. Just take your time, reflect, and focus on you. It’s not a fancy answer but the results indeed are magical.

Why Men REALLY Won’t Commit; The Role Women Play

 

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Courtesy of lakianichole.com

Over the holiday break while I was browsing through my timeline, I came across a Derrick Jaxn video entitled “Why He Won’t Commit but Won’t Leave You Alone.” I instantly clicked on the video because I was intrigued as to what he would say is the cause. In a nutshell, he said something I have been saying for years but many women, myself included, tend to keep messing up. Some women feel this is an issue to blame on men. While I always believe everyone plays a part, I think women have to admit the part played in the lack of commitment from some men.

My favorite part of the video was him stating that a man is not a bad man because he doesn’t commit but continues to hang around. I’m sure some women feel as though this is unfair and that no one should lead someone on. Technically, they aren’t leading anyone on. They have shown you they aren’t trying to commit to you, but you insist on trying to prove to them you will be great anyway. But the truth is, it is easy for us to allow people to do nice things for us and be there for us even though we know we don’t share the same sentiment. Ladies how many times have you allowed men to wine and dine you, knowing you have no interest in them? Or how many times have you let him be your shoulder to cry on and go to person knowing he really cares about you but he’s deep in the friendzone? Yet you don’t see anything wrong with it. Why? Because it’s nice getting the best parts of someone without the hassle and frustration of unwarranted emotions that come from being romantically involved. If I can get your friendship, laughs, support and fun time without having to cater and commit to you, why not do so?

I know it seems I have been on a kick lately of trying to come for the ladies. That is not the case at all. This post is more endearing then it may sound. We’ve all been there. Hurt, feeling broken and frustrated. Mad yet again because another man wasted your time. Mad because another guy led you on. Mad because he didn’t commit to you. You felt you did everything you were supposed to and it wasn’t enough. Well, I hate to be the bearer of bad news but the men may not be all to blame.

Unfortunately, too many women are putting in volunteer work expecting to get paid. They are putting in work for a company that hasn’t even hired them yet. You interviewed for the position and just started showing up for work. Then you get mad when pay day rolls around and you don’t have a check. You can get mad at the company all you want but they are not obligated to pay you for what you’ve done. Just because you decide to support a man, be a great friend to him, compliment him and potentially even sleep with him does not mean he is obligated to do the same. It also does not obligate him to give you the position. You think if you work hard enough he’ll see what a great job you do and be ready to wife you. In actuality, it just shows him he doesn’t have to give you a title to get your best work.

One thing I admire about men is they will not enter into something they do not see is beneficial for them. They exert minimal effort until they see the benefit of it. A lesson women could use. Therefore, a man will not give you the position you want unless you have shown that there is something he’ll gain by giving it to you. Most men would love to give the position to women. They aren’t trying to be facetious when not committing, they just haven’t seen the benefit of the headache that will come with committing to you. They haven’t seen where the benefit will outweigh the frustration. Seems harsh? Maybe, but true nonetheless. Relationships are work and come with aggravating times. A man knows his emotions will be impacted and his nerves will be worked. Therefore, he must know that along with that, he’ll get an amazing woman whose positives make the frustration worth it. Again, if a woman is giving all the positives without having a commitment, there will be nothing to motivate him to take on the frustrations of a commitment.

I know it seems backwards to women because it is not how we think. You should be willing to understand how the man sees it if you are going to get out of the lack of commitment rut you are in. Nothing hurts worse than having to admit you are the reason men won’t commit to you. It also feels better to place the blame elsewhere. If anything, use this as a chance to empower yourself. When you know better you do better. Now you know to only give so much of yourself up front. You only have to show your potential through minimal effort. You do not have to give everything you have to a man for him to want to commit. Stop letting the fear of loneliness trick you into volunteering your best work for a paid position. Showing up early and staying late, bringing the coffee and doing all the work will not get you the position any faster. If anything, it will delay your hiring process. It will not make you stand out among the other applicants who want the position either. If anything, he’ll end up choosing the one who did the least amount of work, because he was intrigued to see what he could get once he chose her. You have the power to get the commitment you desire. The key is to do just enough to show what you are capable of. Not do everything.

I hope this helps. I just want everyone to get the love and commitment they desire. Men are not bad people because they allow you to do things for them and not commit to you. They are simply human. It is time for women to scale back and allow themselves to be offered the position they desire without begging for it through acts of desperation. Ladies you don’t have to fear he won’t choose you. You just have to be confident in what you can do and will be in a relationship. I look forward to seeing you get what you want.

Do Women Expect Men to Deal with Nagging?

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courtesy of greennewes.ng

We’ve seen them a million times. The hilarious memes and videos about a woman getting on her man’s nerves, arguing and nagging and then expecting him to be ok with it. They joke about accusing him of things he didn’t do and then offering insincere apologies. We see these things and we laugh, myself included, but the truth is, it’s a sad reality for some men and for them it is not a laughing matter.

Ladies, the truth is men are getting tired of our stuff. Now I know I have some women looking at their screen crazy like “is she serious?” Yes. Very serious. I know we have all had those men in our lives who was no good, they didn’t contribute to the relationship and drug us through the mud. If you follow my blog, you would know I am not talking about that man. We have to stop acting as though that’s the only man that exists. We also need to stop acting as if men are the only ones who mess up in relationships. Every break up is not caused by a man. My point is, men are getting tired of constantly dealing with bad attitudes, nagging and complaining and then expected to just be ok with it.

How many times have women cussed out their man, fussed for no reason or jumped to a conclusion and then half behind apologized for it. Then had the audacity to think he was supposed to just accept it and act as if nothing ever happened. We joke about it, but the truth is men get tired of that. Then when he does something like forget to take the trash out, didn’t notice you got your eyebrows done, or took too long to text you back, now he’s getting the cold shoulder for two weeks. How Sway? So, women can act up when they feel like it and men are supposed to just ignore it? But men make a mistake and they have to work overtime to get into a woman’s good graces?

Let me put this out there before people get defensive, I know this is not every woman. Some women don’t trip over small things and expect their man to just fall back in line. Some women do what they must to keep from nagging, complaining, and jumping to conclusions. Some women understand the importance of being a man’s peace. Just keep in mind though, everyone is human and even the coolest and most laid-back chick can find herself tripping and wanting him to just forget about it.

What makes it worse is that women then get mad at men for being mad at them. Who cares about the fact she ruined his day with her nagging and complaints, he doesn’t have the right to be mad at her. Let’s face it, this behavior gets old to men and they indeed get angry and frustrated. There are times they want to ignore you too, and they might!!! This doesn’t mean you turn up the petty and ignore him harder. No, this means you work to rectify the situation as you would want him to do for you.

See this sounds foreign because society and social media has made women believe that a good woman doesn’t have to put in any work. That a good man should always be the one doing the work because he should just be thankful to be with her. So now when it is time for a woman to put in work for something she messed up, she tells herself, “I don’t have to do this, I shouldn’t have to prove myself to get back on his good side. If he loved me he would understand that’s just how I am.” Meanwhile he has to buy candy, flowers and dinner and call three times a day when he messes up.

Essential point, it just isn’t fair. Women have to put in work too. Women mess up too. Women have to get back in good graces too!!! Women have to stop expecting men to just take their mess. “Well men expect women to just take their mess.” No, childish men who have no desire to grow expect women to take their mess, kind of like the women who expect men to simply take their stuff. What some women don’t understand is real, grown men are not about to play the foolish games with a woman. He’s not about to deal with the accusations, the unnecessary arguing, or all the complaints. A real man doesn’t think any of that is cute. Yes, I understand some men have their faults, but at what point do women stop pointing the finger and take responsibility?

Ladies I hope you understand it is all love. I wrote this because I want the best for you. I want women to understand the damage they cause to a relationship when expecting a man to always put up with foolishness. Sometimes women do things that upset and frustrate men. Women should be willing to put in the same amount of work to get back in their good graces that they would expect if the shoe was on the other foot. I’m just trying to make sure women don’t get caught up in the hype of social media that they start to believe this behavior is acceptable or fair. If as a woman you mess up, it’s ok to apologize and it’s ok to show you are sorry. Putting in work is for everybody, not just men.

The Broken Woman

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Courtesy of campustyle.com.ng

 

First off let me apologize for my absence. I promise to try to never go this long without posting again!!! My last post was on the Broken Man. Read it here. At the time I wrote it I didn’t think I would write a female version of the post. I felt it would be too obvious. I then realized regardless of how obvious it is that there are broken women, the reason behind the brokenness runs deeper than the surface level thoughts people may attribute it to. Obvious or not, it still needs to be addressed. So, here it is.

Just like with the broken man, society creates the broken woman. If you haven’t figured it out already, societal pressures can break people. See, society has been putting into the heads of women since they were young girls that their value is placed in their desirability of a mate. We teach women that single means defected. Therefore, women find themselves going above and beyond to obtain the holy grail which is companionship and love. This becomes detrimental because they go to any lengths to obtain it. So much so, they spend years of their lives in unhealthy situations because they would rather be broken in a bad relationship then be whole or even broken alone.

Unlike the broken man, the broken woman does not hop from relationship to relationship to run from herself, but instead to try to find herself. She thinks her identity is formed in her connection to a significant other. Unfortunately, she doesn’t realize that she loses more of herself each time she places HER identity into another human being.

While women are allowed to feel and heal from past hurts, they are only allowed to do so within the parameters society gives them.  If they take too long to heal they are pathetic. If they heal too fast they are thirsty and a serial monogamist. Even in this jaded healing, she is never really allowed to admit just how hurt she was. She also is expected to heal over and over again without ever becoming impacted or jaded by what she’s been through. Because remember, she needs to keep her eyes on the prize and get that perfect relationship that doesn’t exist. The relationship she is starting to lose faith in because she has been hurt so much.

Ladies, let me reassure you that your worth is not attached or impacted by your relationship status. Not having a significant other does not make you some broken toy that no one wants to play with. What breaks you is your constant pursuit of love despite of not healing from the unsuccessful attempts previously. As for the ladies who are on the other end of the spectrum, it’s ok to love again. Not every man is out to hurt you. Not every romance ends in heart break. You don’t have to keep a guard up forever.

We must address this because so many women are allowing their brokenness to keep them not only from healing, but from getting the love and companionship they actually deserve and desire. How long are you going to let what happened in the past keep dictating your present? How long are you going to hide behind your brokenness? You end up pushing away the very thing you want. You want to be the princess rescued by prince charming, instead you’ve become the fire breathing dragon that guards the castle. I’m not trying to blame you for what happened to you or be insensitive to your past hurt. I do though as your sister have the right to push you to take control of your healing and stop letting your hurt control you.

Fellas, I must be honest with you. You have to be patient with this woman. I beg of you, do not try to guilt a woman because she has been hurt before. Just be understanding and allow her the time and space she needs to feel comfortable enough to be vulnerable again. I’m not saying she gets to take her time and abuse your patience, but she does indeed need time. As for the woman who seems desperate to make something happen between you and her, I beg you, please don’t take advantage of her. She unfortunately has let societal pressures get the best of her. Don’t write her off as crazy. Just exhibit patience to her through your interactions with her. Lastly, I ask gentlemen, please don’t hurt this woman. I know sometimes it happens even when you aren’t trying, but just be intentional with her heart. She’s been through a lot and you hurting her is just going to make it harder for the man who actually wants to do right by her. If you won’t do it for her, do it for your fellow brethren who will encounter her. Also, be sure to hold each other as men accountable for the handling of women’s hearts.

The truth is, if you live long enough, at some point you will experience brokenness. The key is to identify it and put in the work to put yourself back together again. Ladies stop letting society force you into brokenness. Stop letting the pressure of thinking you need a significant other cloud your judgement. On the other side, do not let your past hurt keep you from enjoying and receiving the love you want. At some point you must take authority over your healing. No more brokenness. The time to heal, is now…